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SI.com's NHL 2013 midseason Crystal Ball predictions

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Blackhawks were the biggest story of the first half, but the Ducks have been the bigger surprise.

As the abbreviated NHL season roars past its midpoint and we hit the stretch drive to the playoffs, we asked our four puck prognosticators to dust off the old Crystal Ball again and revisit their preseason picks, which you can find here. Yes, indeed, it's always nice to get a mulligan or three. Raise your hand if you saw the Canadiens and Ducks coming on as strong as they have? The Rangers, a popular and sexy preseason pick to play for or win the Stanley Cup, may yet validate that glowing assessment, but the Oilers haven't lived up to their hype and defenseman Justin Schultz has been supplanted as a Calder Trophy favorite. However, many of our most intriguing players to watch are still pretty darned intriguing. (Hello, Sergei Bobrovsky...) So we're teeing up our predictions again with another cold eye on the postseason field, the eventual Stanley Cup champion, the major awards winners as well as four significant story lines. Take 'em to the bank -- but be prepared to get a strange look from the teller.

MIDSEASON: Stretch drive forecast | Midseason awards | Fantasy All-Stars | Calder conundrum | Draft prospect rankings

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